The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has called for a concerted effort among stakeholders to formulate a national policy to adopt a local language as the country’s official language.
He described Ghana’s current official language – the English language as another man’s language, saying; “no society develops with the language of another society”.
Mr Bagbin said: “That is one of the challenges in Ghana, and we must get our language right as a country. For example, the Arabs are ahead of us in terms of development because they have adopted an official language of theirs which every citizen understands.”
He said it was prudent for the country to adopt a unique national identity that would foster cordial relationships among the citizenry to help accelerate growth and development in the country.
The Speaker of Parliament said this when he paid a courtesy call to Nana Kobena Nketsia V, the Paramount Chief of Essikado at his palace, at Essikado in the Western Region.
The visit was part of the Speaker’s engagements with key stakeholders to solicit their support to commemorate 30 years of uninterrupted parliamentary democracy under the fourth republic.
Mr Bagbin said Ghana must take inspiration from East and South Africa who had adopted Swahili as their official language and use a local language as the official language.
That, he said, would promote inclusiveness and participation of everyone in the country’s quest to achieve sustainable growth.
He said after 30 years of practicing democracy as a country, there was the need to re-evaluate and re-strategize certain aspects of the country’s democratic principles for its continuous sustenance.
That, he noted, could only be possible if Parliament engaged with the citizenry to understand their views and suggestions to inform policy reforms on parliamentary businesses.
Mr Bagbin indicated that it was necessary to involve traditional authorities more in the governance process saying, they were the custodians of the land, adding, “the real leaders of Ghana and Africa are the traditional leaders. They are the people that their followers really believe in.”
Nana Nketsia V lauded Speaker Bagbin for his efforts to engage with stakeholders to consolidate and promote democracy in the country.
The Speaker of Parliament was accompanied by Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Takoradi Constituency, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, MP for Ellembelle Constituency, Mr Joseph Cudjoe, MP for Effia Constituency and Mr Eric Afful, MP for Amenfi West Constituency among other dignitaries.